Mint is a lovely herb that is easy to grow and full of medicinal value. With it’s spicy scent and vibrant green leaves, mint is one of our favorite herbal plants to grow.
Learn everything you need to know to properly water mint plants today.
How To Water Mint Plants
When growing mint in the ground, mint should be watered two to three times a week during warm weather. Check the soil in outdoor mint plants and if the top few inches are dry, then give the plant a deep and thorough soak.
When growing mint in containers, check the moisture level in the pot frequently. Water mint in containers when the top inch of the soil is dry.
When watering, it’s best practice to apply the water at the mint roots, avoiding the leaves. This ensures that the water reaches the roots of the plant and also prevents the leaves from getting burned. Keep in mind that mint craves moist soil that drains excess water easily.
Read on for all the important details on watering mint plants:
Climate and Watering Mint
The watering needs of a mint plant will vary based on the climate the plant is grown in.
If you live in a humid climate that receives a lot of moisture, you will not have to water your mint plant as frequently as someone who lives in a dry climate. In dry, hotter climates you will need to water more frequently.
The micro climate, or specific location in which the mint plant is grown will also affect the plant’s watering needs. A full sun location in a dry valley will need more water than mint growing in afternoon shade atop of breezy hillside…. even these two locations are in the same zone.
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Mint grows well in zones 3-8 and prefers partial shade (morning sun with afternoon shade). Variegated mint varieties (where the leaf color is white and green) are particularly sensitive to heat and require shade in the afternoon to prevent their leaves from burning.
While some mint varieties can tolerate full sun, most will need more water in this location. A partial shade location where the roots are protected from heat in the afternoon is ideal for keeping the plant cool and conserving water.
Mint are hardy perennials and will come back year after year. When choosing a location for your mint plant always keep their watering and light needs in mind.
Green Thumb Tip: Mint plants spread in two ways: through their seeds and through their root system. A mint’s clever root system sends out runners, called rhizomes, that quickly become new baby plants. Before you know it, you can have a mint invasion!
Keep mint under control by planting in containers above ground or burying a large plastic tub beneath the soil before planting. These methods keep this prolific herb in check.
How Much Water Do Mint Plants Need?
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow, however it loves a lot of water and needs proper drainage to thrive.
For outdoor plants: regularly water when the top few inches of the soil are dry. When you do water, give the plant a deep soak to promote root growth and prevent having to water every single day.
New plants need more water when getting established. An established plant will have a developed root system that allows it to access deeper water. Mint in the ground needs to be watered deeply every few days during dry weather.
For mint in containers, water deeply until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
When To Water
The best time to water mint is in the morning. This gives the mint leaves plenty of time to dry before the cool night temperatures set in. Watering at night can increase fungus and disease development. With indoor growing follow the same early morning watering habit.
How Often To Water Indoor Mint Plants
Indoor mint plants can dry out more quickly than outdoor plants. Check the soil often with indoor plants. When growing mint plants indoors water the plant deeply until the water streams out of the bottom of the container.
Water the indoor plant when the soil is no longer moist, about twice a week, or when the top inch of soil is dry. Set the container in the kitchen and water the plant deeply, until the excess water flows from the bottom of the container.
When growing mint indoors make sure your container has plenty of drainage holes and set the plant in a sunny window. (Set a plate under your potted container to catch the extra water).
There are many reasons to grow mint indoors. This delicious herb has many culinary uses such as mint tea and can be used to add flavor to hot chocolate and savory dishes. A sprig of mint added to water is refreshing and invigorating.
Depending on the season, indoor mint plants may need more or less water. In winter the air may be cooler and drier, sucking moisture from the air and out of the plant. During this time check the soil more regularly. And in late summer when heat rises make sure to keep an eye out for dry soil.
How To Water Mint Seedlings
Mint seeds and seedlings need consistent moisture during the growing season.
Mint Seeds: Water mint seeds every one to two days and ensure the soil is moist during germination. Take care when watering seeds to ensure that you do not wash them away. Use a hose head with a gentle water setting to prevent washing away the seeds.
You can also water mint seeds using a self watering grow kit, like this one. This ensures consistent and adequate moisture without dislodging the seeds.
Seedlings: Keep mint seedlings consistently moist for best growth. Do not water log the soil, however: you can wait unit the top half inch of the soil is dry before watering.
The best way to water smaller seedlings is to use a watering can with lots of tiny holes (don’t dump water onto the seedlings or this will disrupt their roots). Water in the early mornings near the roots. Mint seedlings usually need to be watered every few days.
Over Watered Mint
How can you tell if mint is over watered? The plant will begin to wilt and droop if given excess water. The leaves may turn yellow and if root rot has set in the plant may become mushy and decayed.
The growth of the plant will slow and the stems and roots may appear rotten and have a foul odor.
Prevention is the best way to prevent root rot and decay caused from over watering. Make sure your plant dries out before watering and has good soil drainage. Additionally, check the soil before watering and resist the temptation to over water!
Root Rot In Mint Plants
While mint loves water, you can over water this plant and cause root rot. Root rot will cause the roots to decay and eventually will kill the plant.
Good drainage and waiting until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering will prevent this perennial herb from developing root rot. If you have poor draining soil, add organic matter and peat moss to improve drainage.
Not Getting Enough Water
Lack of water and hot weather will dry out a mint plant quickly. The plant may begin to wilt and will eventually shrivel and dry, and will stop putting energy into new growth.
Mint plants in containers will dry out more quickly than plants in the ground.
Thirsty mint leaves curl or droop and the plant will eventually die. The good news is mint plants are an incredibly hardy herb and will perk back up with a deep soak and regular attention to their watering needs.
If growing in a pot, place the parched plant in shade and out of direct sunlight while rehabilitating it. Water well in this shaded location for a few days to help nurture the herb back to life.
Self Watering Pots
Self-watering pots can be a good idea for keeping established mints consistently watered. These containers contain a water reservoir in the bottom of the pot, and the plant uses capillary action in it’s roots to pull from the reserve of water.
Though you do have to fill up the reservoir of water, this watering method is consistent and reliable and takes less time commitment than watering a pot daily. Self watering pots can be perfect for busy gardeners who want to keep thirsty mint plants well watered.
From Our Experience: We have grown mint plants in both containers and in the garden bed. We’ve even found mint growing with wild abandon at the back of our property.
From our experience, mint does best when it is grown in morning sun and receives afternoon shade. This part shade environment seems to protect the roots from intense heat, yet the herb plants still get enough light. We have noticed that established plants require less water than new plants and they love well draining soil.
Problems With Watering Mint
One of the main problems gardeners can encounter when growing mint is poor soil. Heavy clay soil can prevent water from draining and create wet soggy conditions that contribute to mold and fungus.
For the best growing conditions use well draining soil with rich organic matter, and if you have clay soil amend it before planting mint starts.
How To Water A Chocolate Mint Plant
To water chocolate mint plants, wait until the top inch of the soil is dry, then water deeply at the roots. If growing in a container, water the plant until fluid runs out of the bottom of the container. You can follow this watering method for all types of mint: from peppermint to spearmint, apple mint and cat mint… and beyond.
Thank you for joining us on our mint watering journey. We’d love to know how your mint plant is doing, let us know in the comments what your favorite variety is and how it’s growing! -Jamie